Despite the "special blend" of ingredients, energy drinks work no better than ordinary caffeine at helping us pay attention, a new study suggests.
In the study, researchers examined participants' brain activity while they performed a task designed to require attention. Specifically, the researchers looked at how fast the brain responded to a change in letters appearing on a computer screen.
Before the task, participants consumed 8 ounces of either water, water with caffeine, or water containing the energy drink 5-Hour Energy. The caffeinated drinks were adjusted so that they had the same amount of caffeine per pound of participants' body weight, and all drinks were colored blue.
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